Bitcoin Rune Alpha

For those unaware, the core developer and creator of Bitcoin Ordinals has a small podcast, which is a gold mine for Ordinal information and Rune alpha. I listened to the podcast to glean some additional info on the Rune launch in April and provided a summary for those too busy to listen:


Intro (0:00 – 22:30)

  • Inscriptions are not fungible. Every inscription has its identifier and content – including BRC20s. 
    • Ordinal theory was never meant for tokens. 
    • As such, BRC20s are not as fungible as they should be for a token standard.
    • Runes are closer to true ERC20 fungibility.
  • Runes are a meta-protocol for making fungible tokens.
  • Casey considers tokens as pure speculation and technical development on the base layer a waste of funds.
    • Meme coins are more fun.
    • Crypto is a ‘gambling and entertainment industry.’
  • BRC20’s mint mechanic was fundamental to its success.
  • Casey views Runes and BRC20s as a vampire attack on the entire crypto industry to bring that liquidity and attention back to Bitcoin.

What are Runes? (22:31 – 35:40)

  • Rune balances are stored in Bitcoin UTXOs.
  • When the UTXO holding the Rune balance is destroyed, the balance transfers to the newly created UTXO.
    • Rune transactions then specify transfer addresses within the OP_Return field (the Op_Return can hold 80 bytes).
    • The data structure of a Rune tx is just a series of integers that the protocol parses.
  • Rune creation occurs within the Op_Return field. 
    • Tokens will have a name and currency symbol.
    • Rune names are unique.
  • Runes can have an open mint, like BRC20, but not necessarily. They can be created with the entire supply to a single address.
  • Runes go live on mainnet at block 840,000 (halving block, sometimes in April)

Naming (35:41 – 46:26)

  • Rune names will be a max of 28 characters.
  • Rune names shorter than 13 characters will slowly become available over the next four years.
    • For example, 12-character Rune names become available four months post-launch.
  • The idea here is to encourage the market to not frivolously waste low-character names or single characters.
  • Runes also have a commit-reveal method of creating Rune names to ensure they are not front-run.
    • Front running was an issue with BRC20s and sophon bot.

Simplicity (46:27 – 53:39)

  • The code base is simpler than Ordinals.
  • Runes have the same security properties as Bitcoin.
  • Runes are compatible with SPV wallets [simple payment verification], which are light Bitcoin wallets.
    • This means that SPV Rune wallets are possible from launch but will need to be built.

Alpha (53:40 – 1:08:12)

  • Runes will have numbers – Rune 0, Rune 1, etc.
  • The Ordinal team will probably hardcode the first ten (0-9) Runes into the protocol to ensure they are not pre-mined and have a fair launch.
    • It will have a range of different parameters and themes.
    • It will have 13 characters.
    • May take suggestions from the community for the first names. 

Watch Runes

I have mentioned it a few times, but Runes are probably the only token meta-protocol that can potentially supplant BRC20s. There are a bunch of different Bitcoin meta-protocols like Stamps, BRC721, ORC20s, etc. But all the various meta-protocols post-BRC20 have been unable to supplant it. BRC20’s network effect and mindshare are way too strong.

However, Runes is probably the best setup to supplant BRC20s as they come from the Ordinals team and are the creators of the entire tech stack. The protocol’s launch is in April, and if you are interested in BRC20s and inscriptions, I highly recommend people check out this podcast and pay special attention to the ending, where they go over the first Rune tokens coming to Bitcoin.

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Would you guys expect price of $ORDI to go down close to the runes launch as runes are meant to be an upgrade over oridinal theory

insanely good AF post!

this is amazing!

yeah, the Rune alpha - in particular the first 10 being hard coded is important to know/follow.

wdym of " first 10 being hard coded" ?